Those who know me will not be shocked to hear that I end up in more than a few debates about our president. Tonight, I was in one such that left me dumbfounded. To paraphrase the assertion that stumped me, “President Trump has done so much already for our country.”
I thought the national discussion was his fitness even to be president. Instead, we’re debating the greatness of his accomplishments? In my more rational moments, I try to point out the factual errors and rhetorical fallacies that Trump supporters use. Their holy trinity is Clinton, Obama, and Benghazi. In my less rational moments, I mock their lack of critical thinking skills. I’m still puzzled about how to respond to someone who thinks he’s already done a great job. I can process the ardent supporters convinced he’s going to accomplish things. I can accept those blindly loyal to him and it doesn’t matter what he does. What does one do with someone who thinks Trump is already making great strides?
What exactly, hell even inexactly, has he done? His party controls both houses of congress. Not a single meaningful piece of legislation has been passed. If “repeal and replace” had been passed, they could point to that as significant. I may disagree with how beneficial it is, but I would agree that it is substantial. It didn’t happen. He couldn’t get a majority in both houses to support something his party had harped on for seven years. My fear, when he was elected, was that the GOP controlled congress would ram through countless bills I would argue are not good. Happy to report that fear is gone.
What has Trump accomplished? We get regular tweets from the Twitter in Chief about jobs. The reality is that job growth in the first half of this year lagged the same time period for the past six years. This is not even accounting for the fact that virtually nothing the Trump presidency has done yet could affect jobs substantially or that these are the same job reports the president called fake prior to taking office.
The stock market is doing well. Take a ruler and put it on the market growth line from 2010 to today. It is essentially a straight line. The president has not improved the trajectory. He just takes credit for it.
Does anyone think that we are safer today because of Trump? Last week he was threatening nuclear war. I don’t see any foreign policy wins. Instead, foreign leaders publicly mock him, and our allies consider us a liability.
Domestically, would we describe our current state as excellent? We just had riots and murder in the streets of Virginia. Make whatever conclusions you wish about those events, place blame on whomever you’d like. It doesn’t change the fact that we have massive unrest. Is that an indication of presidential accomplishment?
Trump has fulfilled none of his campaign promises, has achieved none of his signature legislation (the wall isn’t happening or being paid for by Mexico, the Muslim ban was struck down, repealing the ACA failed, etc), has destabilized relations with our allies and increased tension with our foes, and white supremacists are marching in our streets. The only ones who should feel good about his failed commitments are those who were afraid they might happen. If you supported his promises, what are you happy about? He hasn’t delivered on anything.
Who has Trump helped? One could argue oil company shareholders. Who else? Who thinks America is better today than it was seven months ago, and how did Trump affect that? The only answer I can identify is Trump. He’s profiting well from the White House. Anyone else?
What has he accomplished? I may dislike if you say you support him and you expect him to still do great things, but I’ll accept your optimism. To argue he’s already done a lot? Until you give me empirical evidence, I’m just going to call that bullshit.
Trump has accomplished nothing positive. His first six months might be the worst performance in presidential history. This begs the important question of why people lie and rationalize to defend him in spite of his failures to date.
At this point, President Trump is an utter failure. He is a failure to those who support him and support his agenda. His agenda, actions, and words are a failure to all the rest of us.